Three people in the spotlight this weekend

Sports Mole takes a look at three individuals who need success in the Premier League this weekend.

Another international break has come and gone, and the Premier League is back this weekend to take centre stage for the eighth round of fixtures.

Below, Sports Mole takes a look at three of the people under extra pressure to achieve success over the next few days.


1. Romelu Lukaku

After becoming such a crucial player for the Toffees last season, it's been a bit more of a struggle for the Belgian since he completed a permanent switch to Goodison Park from Chelsea in the summer. Lukaku has only managed to find the net twice in his seven Premier League appearances this season. Of course, other strikers have struggled more, but it is some of his displays which will concern a few Everton fans.

Romelu Lukaku of Everton holds off the challenges from Alberto Moreno of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on September 27, 2014© Getty Images

We're used to seeing Lukaku terrorise defenders with his strength and determination, but he's looked short of his best since the start of the campaign. If Everton are to match their achievements from last season, his ability to attract attention from defenders and link up with his teammates is vital. The likes of Steven Pienaar, Aiden McGeady and Steven Naismith thrive when Lukaku is at his best, and it's no surprise to see his form coincide with Everton's struggles in recent weeks.

Roberto Martinez's side host Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon, and he will be desperate to see Lukaku firing on all cylinders after defending his striker earlier this week.


2. Harry Redknapp

A few months back Redknapp was a hero to the Queens Park Rangers fans, and it's safe to assume that he is still held in high regard by most of the supporters who watch his side at Loftus Road. However, any promoted club will start to get nervous as soon as they make a disappointing start to life in the Premier League.

Harry Redknapp, manager of QPR looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City at Loftus Road on September 20, 2014© Getty Images

QPR are currently bottom of the table with just four points from their opening seven games, and the rumour mill has started already. In the past week, a number of unemployed coaches have been spoken about as possible candidates to replace Redknapp should owner Tony Fernandes wield the axe, or if the former Spurs boss decided to walk away. Redknapp insists that he has no intention of walking away, but we've often seen in the past that clubs feel obliged to make a decision if a poor start turns into a disastrous campaign.

Liverpool, desperate for a win of their own, arrive in West London on Sunday. Can Redknapp avoid slipping to another defeat?


3. Mauricio Pochettino

Compared to the situation Redknapp finds himself in, Pochettino is living the high life sitting sixth in the Premier League table. However, the spotlight is on the Tottenham Hotspur head coach for a very different reason ahead of the trip to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Mauricio Pochettino the Spurs manager directs his players during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at Boleyn Ground on August 16, 2014© Getty Images

It's been a solid start to the new campaign, and we haven't seen the best of Spurs yet, but the travelling supporters will be nervous heading up to Manchester on Saturday morning. Losing 6-0 and 5-1 to the same opposition last season will do that to your average football fan.

In the past few years Spurs have been desperate to prove they can mix it with the biggest clubs, but they took a step backwards with a series of emphatic losses last season. Pochettino will be eager to prove that he can prepare his team to take on anyone in the league with his style of play. He insists that past results will not be on his side's mind, but another heavy defeat would be very damaging to the morale at this stage of the campaign.


Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Juan Mata celebrates scoring their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on September 14, 201
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City87102942522
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd86202121920
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs85211551017
4Watford84311313015
5Chelsea8413138513
6Arsenal84131210213
7Burnley834186213
8Liverpool83411312113
9Newcastle UnitedNewcastle832398111
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom824279-210
11Southampton823379-29
12Huddersfield TownHuddersfield823359-49
13Swansea CitySwansea822458-38
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8224610-48
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham8224814-68
16Everton8224513-88
17Stoke CityStoke8224918-98
18Leicester CityLeicester81341013-36
19Bournemouth8116412-84
20Crystal Palace8107218-163
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